Thought Style of Students from Two Medical Schools in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Sylvia Maria Porto Pereira
  • Kenneth Rochel de Camargo JR


This manuscript applies the epistemological framework proposed by the Polish physician-philosopher Ludwik Fleck to the study of medical training during graduation. It elicits and discusses factors that influence the conformation of a thought style of medical students. The knowledge generated by this article may help medical educators and health officials to improve medical training in order to best serve the health needs of the people. The study consisted of interviews and ethnographic observations with students and professors of two medical schools with different curricula and conceptions, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The large amount of data generated resulted in the identification of three main themes through evidential analysis (Ginzburg, 1989): (1) influence of biomedical elements on the conformation of medical students’ thought style; (2) influence of humanistic elements on the conformation of medical students’ thought style; (3) elements of medical students’ final thought style. We conclude that, in spite of different curricula and conceptions, the final thought style of medical students from the two medical schools is biomedical; we also conclude that the example of professors is an important pedagogical instrument for including humanistic thought style elements in medical education.Keywords: thought style; collective style; medical education, medical school, undergraduate student; Biomedicine